A MERCHANDISE store selling pop culture paraphernalia is up and running in Bolton town centre - despite losing thousands of pounds worth of stock two days before it opened.

Pop Patrol, in St Andrew’s Court off Exchange Square, has opened after a long-anticipated wait.

Nestled behind Mr Simm’s sweet shop, the store sells an assortment of pop culture related merchandise - including toys, board games, figurines, mugs, clothing and confectionery.

Store owner Daniel Mortell, 39,who is originally from Salford, said: “We want to bring happiness back to the high street. We’ve only been open a week but it already feels like more of a community than a store.

“We already have regulars who come in every day just for a chat. It’s a safe space for absolutely anyone.”

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Pop Patrol was due to open on April 12. Two days before, however, a leak damaged a huge section of the building, damaging £10,000 worth of stock which is having to be replaced.

Daniel says he became ‘extremely busy throughout lockdown’ with home delivery services spurring on a huge growth in the business.

As a high-functioning autistic, Daniel, who now lives in Ramsbottom, says he ‘likes to be doing a lot of things’ - and is grateful to have another project to keep him occupied.

Despite a quiet opening week, he is confident that it will become a place where people from all walks of life can come to get gifts for their loved ones.

“We have something for all budgets and for all ages,” he added.

“We cater for anything that alternative, or nostalgic - there’s something for everybody.

“We think this is the best location, and we want to open up two more locations in the North West later this year.

“I’ve been working hard on this throughout lockdown, and have spent time sourcing stock from America, Australia and Europe.”

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